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The values are, er, rationalised rationally. You're quite right they're not caused by narratives - or reason.

But people still persist in trying to persuade others using pseudo-rational narratives. And sometimes they even succeed.

I think values like justice and equality are already narrative statements. The emotional roots for the soft left probably come down to empathy, curiosity and inclusiveness.

The hard left seems more likely to be driven by jealousy, and a desire for revenge against parental figures.

The right seems to live on a dominance/submission axis, where the prize for dominance and 'success' is the right to live out your instincts with only minimal guilt.

(This is maybe one reason they prefer authoritarian values. They know how dangerous they are - they assume everyone else is just as dangerous and can't be trusted without external control.)

You can't map these root emotions into each other. Left and right narratives make no sense to other side, because they literally lack the emotional make-up that gives them a foundation.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Mar 7th, 2007 at 07:49:30 PM EST
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You can't map these root emotions into each other. Left and right narratives make no sense to other side, because they literally lack the emotional make-up that gives them a foundation.

In T.S. Kuhn terms : incommensurability

Whereas I share most of your view, I beg to disagree on one essential issue: Apart from a (more or less) small number of fanatics, most of the people share share a certain set of basic human values, but they do not prioritise them in the same order. Example: for some people of the right, individual freedom is the highest value. It is also a value I share, but I don't put it above social justice.

That's the reason why (except for the fanatics), it is possible to discuss and make alliance with people from the right and even seduce them into a progressive narrative (see above).

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet

by Melanchthon on Wed Mar 7th, 2007 at 08:08:08 PM EST
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